Travelling on foot for the last 36 hours, as many as 25 migrant workers, including a man with a defected left leg, who had started from Baddi in Himachal Pradesh to reach Saharanpur village in UP’s Mirzapur district, reached Panchkula’s Ramgarh village on Friday, May 9.
Walking with a limp, Mithilesh said, “My wife passed away three days back at my village in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district. Finding no other means to travel to my house, I decided to walk to my village with the other workers. I do not know when will I reach my village, but I will continue to walk.”
The workers claimed that police at various nakas in Baddi and some parts of Haryana allowed them to pass with instructions that they should cross the areas at the earliest. They said that they have been out of work as plants are shut down.
Another worker with the group, Sachin Kumar Verma said, “We had been sitting idle during the entire lockdown. Later, factory owners handed us the partial monthly salary. He told us that whenever production will start, he will call us. There was no one to assist us with how to reach our villages. Then we started marching. We are pleading before countless truck drivers to take us, but all in vain.”
Migrant worker Kamla Devi said, “We meet a number of people, who offered us food and biscuit packets. But nobody was willing to let us board their trucks. We have set off on foot. Once we even approached a government officer and he told us that we will have to reside in a school for 14 days. We prefer leaving on foots.”
Solan Deputy Commissioner KC Chaman said, “There is confusion. Labourers working in the unorganised sector at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh, reside in Maddawala, a small town in Panchkula district. Many labourers are marching from Maddawala to their native villages in UP and Bihar. They are introducing themselves as Baddi residents. I received many calls from Chandigarh and Panchkula and explained the situation to them. Most of the industries in Baddi have reopened.”
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